By Kristina Keeling
Halloween is over and the Christmas commercials have begun airing, but does anyone remember the holiday between Halloween and Christmas? Students refer to it as a break, and parents think of it as a family reunion, but the correct term is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, but hate how it often gets overshadowed and forgotten between Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have and, of course, eating what is hopefully delicious food.
There are many things that we can learn from the holiday season, including the sometimes forgotten holiday Thanksgiving. With that being said let’s shine a light on this important holiday and see what we, as future and current PR professionals, can learn from Thanksgiving.
Plan your meal
It is always a good idea to have a plan in mind with any task you might come across. One task that comes along with Thanksgiving is grocery shopping. It is always a good idea to make sure you have a list so you don’t forget anything important. Communication is key when planning. Find out who is coming and what they are bringing, because you don’t want to end up having three bowls of sweet potatoes.
Similarly, PR professionals need to have a plan for everything. You do not want to be caught off guard when a crisis occurs. Always have a plan, and always plan for the worst case scenario.
Avoid going it alone
Taking on a big family dinner like Thanksgiving is not easy, and it is nearly impossible to do it alone. Whether you have helpers in the kitchen, or you ask people to bring a dish with them, you’re going to need extra help. And, like the first lesson states, make sure everyone knows what they are doing.
In PR, you can’t implement a big project by yourself. Whether you are planning a launch party or dealing with a crisis situation, you are going to need help executing your plan.
Don’t screw up the “bread and butter”
Sometimes we get wrapped up in wanting our dinner to be like those we see on cooking shows. It is okay to be adventurous, but we also expect the staples, such as turkey, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls to be done right every year.
Planning and working on campaigns can be fun, but we need to remember the basic day-to-day tasks. We don’t want to mess up the simple things, such as news releases, social media posts and the other “low-investment” tasks.
It is easy to gorge yourself with delicious food during Thanksgiving, but we need to know our limits. The average person consumes 4,500 calories during a Thanksgiving meal, which is over twice as much as a person should consume in one day.
We need to know our limits and pace ourselves in PR. The easy way to get someone to un-follow you on social media is by bombarding them with posts and tweets. Determine a strategy with the right number of messages, and stick with it. Of course this will change depending on what is happening within your company. The same goes for media coverage. Do not send out multiple story pitches and press releases. You will exhaust your audience and your emails will begin to look like spam.
Don’t be afraid to have fun
The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy time with family. I know my family likes to play board and card games during the holidays while watching holiday movies.
This time of year allows businesses to have a little fun with their initiatives. Get in the holiday spirit and have some fun with your social media posts, news releases and story pitches.
Most importantly, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for what we have, but it is also about spending quality time with friends and family.
In the PR world, relationships are everything. It is how you gain business, acquire jobs, spread news and more. We all get a little busy during this time of year and it is easy to forget how important relationships are, so relax and spend some time with family this holiday season.